Sunderland’s home game against Hull City has got to be billed the biggest one of the season so far because of the huge importance to both clubs.
To get the maximum benefit from that Bournemouth victory, Sunderland have to get three points on Saturday against a fellow relegation rival, no ifs or buts.
This is a great opportunity to get back-to-back wins.
Sunderland might not get a better one but these are just the sort of games that Sunderland so often get spectacularly wrong and remember Hull have often burst our bubble in the past, usually when we are flying after a derby win.
Sunderland must get their home form sorted out, it is a mystery to me why our record on Wearside is so poor. At least away from home – apart from Stoke – we have never lost by more than a single goal and when that is the case you are always in the game.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said at home, were one solitary point from 15 is abysmal and there are a couple of heavy defeats in there too.
Both Sunderland and Hull are deep in trouble, both favourites with the bookies to go down yet they each go into the game on the back of a win and will fancy their chances of making it two in a row.
This home game is totally different to the last one against Arsenal – when a draw wouldn’t have been a bad result – as only a win against the Tigers will satisfy the fans but, with that expectation comes pressure.
So, will the players cope with the inevitable nerves and the tension that these sorts of games bring? I think they can thanks to that amazing win at Bournemouth, which must feel like a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders.
I know how difficult it is when you can’t buy a win and all the doubts and insecurities a bad run brings, then you get a win from nowhere and suddenly it is like being in a different team.
As it is three weeks since the last home game and with an away win in that time the fans are looking forward to going to the games again and for a first time in a while with genuine optimism.
Hull, though, will be feeling exactly as we are.
They have a couple of ex-Sunderland players in David Meyler and Ahmed Elmohamady who won’t lack motivation and in Robert Snodgrass one of the best players in the bottom half of the Premier League, so while I am confident of a win, I’m certainly not taking anything for granted.